A comparison between hearing protector properties measured in laboratory and perceived by the users

By Lopes, Alba Maria F.; Arezes, Pedro M.; Gerges, Samir N. Y.; Arezes, P; Baptista, JS; Barroso, MP&

Sho2011: International Symposium on Occupational Safety and Hygiene



The discomfort is being reported as the main reason for users not wearing personal protection equipment. The mechanical properties that cause the discomfort may be perceived in a different way or even mistaken by the hearing protection users. To design a comfortable earmuffs it is needed to know the users feeling for each of its mechanical properties. The goal of this work is to analyse the differences between the measured and perceived mechanical properties of earmuffs. Some earmuffs’ mechanical properties such as the weight, contact surface with the users head and arc force were measured in laboratory. Volunteers tried these earmuffs in a controlled experiment done inside of an acoustic chamber in order to assume the similar condition found in a noisy work environment and filled a form with their perception about the earmuffs using a semantic scale. The subjects perception data were treated by an adequate statistical method and their perception were compared to the earmuff mechanical properties, concluding that these properties are mistaken by the users.


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